Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is known for his out-of-the-box thinking, has perhaps played his biggest card in the form of the Start-up India initiative.
The Rs 10,000-crore initiative, which was launched on January 16, is not just an amount earmarked for helping potential entrepreneurs and providing them with tax incentives but kicking off a socio-economic revolution of sort in the country.
State no more a regulator but a facilitator
The uniqueness of this initiative is that it doesn't see the state as a regulator but rather a facilitator in bettering the lives of millions of young people who are ambitious as well as restless.
And through this move that could mobilise the entire youth population, Modi might also put the game beyond the reach beyond his political opponents, especially the Congress.
Not many anti-Modi voices in the country would benefit by raising any objection to this scheme now.
An anti-thesis to Congress's way of thinking
The Congress, despite ruling the country for most of the period since Independence and also ushering in the era of post-liberalisation, never did take a similar initiative to empower the middle-class, especially the youth, and stuck to its old populist stand and seemed ideologically paralysed.
Speaking on start-up & intolerance together makes no sense
Today, when Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi says an initiative like ‘start-up' cannot go hand in hand with ‘intolerance', the ideological confusion of the grand-old party becomes clear.
Expressing cynicism on a fresh, untested initiative by mixing it up with an ideological disapproval only says that the Congress has nothing new to offer to the people of India, instead of opposing Modi just for the sake of it.
When the UPA was in power, the Congress leadership preferred a new variant of economic populism instead of cashing in on a world that offered new avenues of economic rise. It was the inertia of the government of an effective prime minister in Manmohan Singh that made India come to a grinding halt and paved the way for the rise of Modi.
Unlike Manmohan, Modi means business
But Singh's successor, like a leader who means business, took the right initiative by aiming the vast domestic market dominated by the youth lying unused.
Thanks to the emergence of a number of popular e-commerce enterprises, patronised by renowned global funds, more youths feel to test their business acumen instead of just settling with ludicrous salaries.
With a booming middle-class embracing these e-commerce ventures to solve their minute-by-minute problems, there lies an entire world to conquer and what best that mobilising our own resources to capitalise on it?
The ‘Start-up India' programme is a safe bet which will assure Modi the blessings of his constituencies and put his critics in a spot to gather ammunition against him.
Welcome features of Modi's scheme
Features like tax exemptions particularly from the capital gains and commitment to speedy registration for the start-ups are well-articulated steps in the venture.
Incorporation of the exit option in the scheme (under Bankruptcy Act) and self-certification regime will also help in removing whatever concerns there might be in connection with the start-ups. The move of recognising that each venture cannot be a success is also a positive aspect of the scheme.
An alternative way to govt's reforms challenge
This could also be an alternative to the government's slowing down on the economic front and the problems it is facing in getting reforms cleared because of a weak position in the Rajya Sabha.
Perception means a lot in politics and this initiative will send across the message that despite the odds, Narendra Modi is not ready to give up on his responsibilities to see India surge ahead.